Tuesday, December 02, 2008

TAX JUSTICE: Putting Global Inequality on the Agenda

A new book Tax Justice: Putting Global Inequalities on the Agenda has been published by Pluto Press and we will be launching it at the forthcoming World Social Forum in Belem, in January 2009. Edited by Matti Kohonen and Francine Mestrum, with contributions from Jacques Cossart, Peter Wahl, Dries Lesage, and others, this book takes a deep look at how global income and wealth inequalities are linked to the massive erosion of public finances in the past 30 years.

This book makes a contribution towards the debate that started from Monterrey Financing for Development conference in 2002, and has continued ever since on the status of the domestic resource mobilization, and international solidarity needed to reduce inequalities, and eradicate poverty in the developing countries.

By discussing debt, trade, global taxes, aid, taxes, capital flight, and corruption we can achieve a more coherent picture of the public finances, and understand the current challenges and the key proposals for strengthening the capacity of states to provide public goods for their citizens. On the side of expenditures the contributors discuss the myth of development aid, and the possibility of an approach based on global public goods.

Never before has there been so much wealth, and yet even the world’s richest countries seem to lack public finances to fund the most basic needs of their citizens. It is a great paradox of our time.

This book (see table of contents below) argues that global wealth inequalities need to be addressed in order to achieve lasting social, economic development in all countries. There will simply never be enough finances to provide welfare for all if the rich continue to evade taxes, and large companies shift profits out of poor countries. The authors show how we can develop new forms of international solidarity to tackle this -- and keep wealth within countries that need it. They detail how money is wasted and lost, and how the global finance system ends up taking money away from the areas that need it most.

Amazon has the book here, or you can try LoveReading here, better still contact Matti Kohonen matti@taxjustice.net for the best discount on the net.

Matti Kohonen is a sociologist who is a founding member of the Tax Justice Network, where he currently works building a global tax justice campaign.

Francine Mestrum, PhD in social sciences, is a professor at the University of Ghent, Belgium. Research interests include social development, globalisation, gender and global civil society. Author of several books on global poverty, inequality and international financial institutions.

"Secretive offshore banking has brought capitalism to its knees,increased inequality and stymmied meaningful poverty alleviation.This timely book reveals how tax havens do this, and it also offerspolicy makers a viable routemap for a progressive alternative." Nick Mathiason, Business Correspondent, The Observer

"Massive income disparities between rich and poor constitute capitalism’s greatest challenge in the 21st century. This book explains the issue and makes a highly intelligent contribution towards its resolution." Raymond W. Baker, Director, Global Financial Integrity and Guest Scholar at TheBrookings Institution.

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Table of Contents

Acronyms

Preface: the Tax Justice Network

Introduction
Matti Kohonen and Francine Mestrum


Part I: Visualising the Problems

1: Why we have to fight global income inequality
Francine Mestrum

2: Rationale for World Public Finance: Mapping the tools for social change
Matti Kohonen


Part II: Missing Public Revenues

3: The global financial system and enduring poverty
Peter Wahl

4: Dealing with debt
Katarina Sehm-Patomäki

5: Taxing transnational corporations
John Christensen

6: The fiscal impact of trade liberalisation
Aldo Caliari

7: Global taxes for public finances in the South
Jacques Cossart

8: Breaking the vicious circle: Grand corruption in Kenya
Alvin Mosioma and Bob Awuor


Part III: Better Public Expenditures


9: The myth of development aid
Lou Keune

10: Public finance for global public goods
Dries Lesage

Notes on contributors




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